A set of conjoined twins was separated successfully by a team of doctors at Wolfson Children’s Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida. Carter and Conner Mirabal shared several vital organs, including their liver and small intestine. However, both twins survived the high-risk procedure.
Carter and Conner were born to Michelle Brantley and Bryan Mirabal on December 12, 2014. At the time of their birth, the boys weighed a total of 10 pounds and two ounces.
Although they were conjoined from the sternum to below the navel, they have separate hearts, lungs, and bladders. Unfortunately, Carter and Conner suffered with numerous medical issues.
— Orlando Sentinel (@orlandosentinel) May 12, 2015
As discussed on the Mirabals’ GoFundMe page, the conjoined twins had complications with their hearts and urinary systems. They also underwent surgery to close an opening, which exposed their small intestine.
To prevent future complications, and to give the boys a chance to live “normal” lives, Carter and Conner’s doctors recommended a separation surgery.
Although it was recommended, the operation was not without risk. As reported by USA Today, the twins were only “given a 25 percent chance of survival.” Despite the risk, Bryan and Michelle consented to the surgery.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 12, 2015
The delicate operation was conducted by a team of 20 doctors, nurses, and medical assistants. Although the team provided the parents with regular updates, Bryan and Michelle were terribly concerned.
Bryan said he had faith in his sons’ doctors. However, he could not stop thinking about “the what if’s and could be’s… the things that could happen.”
Nearly nine hours after the surgery began, doctors announced the conjoined twins were separated successfully. Four hours later, Carter and Conner were transferred from the operating suite to the pediatric intensive care unit.
Fox News reports the twins are currently listed in critical, but stable, condition. Dr. Solange Benjamin confirmed the first “24 to 48 hours following surgery were crucial.”
Carter and Conner will likely spend up to three more months in the hospital. However, Michelle and Bryan said they are looking forward to taking their sons home.
In a press release, Michelle expressed her gratitude to “everyone who has taken care of [her] babies.” She said she and her fiancé had the utmost confidence in their sons’ doctors and appreciate the outpouring of support.
Although the conjoined twins were separated successfully, they will have to undergo another operation to close the remaining gaps in their chests.
[Image via China Photos/Getty Images]